FDA ease blood donation restrictions for gay and bisexual men

Health experts will let more people donate blood.
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 1:53 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - As blood banks across the United States face critical shortages, a change in donor eligibility may open the door for a whole new group of potential donors.

Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended updating their policy to ease blood donation restrictions for gay and bisexual men.

Under the new policy, all potential donors will use the same screening questionnaire, regardless of sexual orientation, sex, or gender to determine eligibility.

Additionally, the waiting time for donors who are gay or bisexual will be eliminated.

Blood banks are now free to implement the new policy, but the change won’t come overnight.

”So, Vitalant is preparing for the extensive process of updating donation materials, computer systems, and training about 1,500 staff members. Although we do not have a specific implementation date at this time, we will complete the transition as quickly as possible while ensuring compliance with the final guidance,” said Tori Robbins, communications manager for Vitalant Blood Donations.

In a press release, the FDA stated this move, “will potentially expand the number of people eligible to donate blood, while also maintaining the appropriate safeguards to protect the safety of the blood supply.”